Katie Sponsler is running to represent the 66th District in the House of Delegates. Sponsler is originally from Ohio and joined the U.S. Air Force where she was stationed in Germany. After her honorable discharge from the military, she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Youngstown State University. She later moved to Virginia to work as a park ranger at the Petersburg National Battlefield. Sponsler and her husband have two children together.
Sponsler believes that strong, equitable schools are the backbone to thriving communities and supports fully funding our education system. She wants to raise teacher pay and increase the number of school nurses and social workers at every school. She wants to change the way public schools are funded so that funding doesn’t depend on the income level of the community surrounding a school. Sponsler also opposes measures to privatize public education such as school voucher programs.
Sponsler wants all Virginians to have access to quality, affordable healthcare and wants to remedy the racial disparities made apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic. She also wants to increase support to medical staff so that they can do their jobs well and protect their own health during the pandemic. She believes that Medicaid should be expanded to include mental health care and substance abuse recovery. She will fight to protect access to abortion and people’s right to decide when and whether to become a parent.
Sponsler advocates for reforming Virginia’s criminal justice system, believing it has a disproportionate impact on communities of color. She believes that police have an outsized role in our communities and take on too many responsibilities. She supports shifting resources away from police budgets so that mental health professionals, social workers, and counselors can respond when people are in crisis and save lives. Additionally, she wants to abolish the death penalty in Virginia.
Sponsler believes in science and understands the urgency of the climate crisis. She wants to guarantee access to clean water and air. She advocates for ending the importing of waste into her district and Virginia and will oppose the construction of mega landfills. She wants to hold polluting utilities monopolies accountable for dirtying our air and water. She supports measures to reduce waste in the Commonwealth, such as phasing out the use of single-use plastics by 2025.
Katie Sponsler is running against Republican candidate Mike Cherry, a veteran, pastor, and member of the Colonial Heights City Council. Cherry opposes measures to hold police accountable for violating people’s rights and reduce environmental waste in the Commonwealth. He supports using taxpayer money to fund private education. He is also against government efforts to keep communities safe during the pandemic.
Due to her support of the environment, public education, access to affordable healthcare, and criminal justice reform, Sponsler is the most progressive candidate in this race.